Decatur’s Barthel honored as Gatorade Player of the Year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 27, 2001

Honoring the nation’s best high school athletes for more than fifteen years, Gatorade Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, recently announced its State High School Baseball Player of the Year award winners.

The athletes, representing 47 states (Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming do not have formal baseball programs) and the District of Columbia, are the latest inductees into the Gatorade Circle of Champions and are finalists for the prestigious Gatorade National High School Baseball Player of the Year award.

Gatorade has awarded the State High School Baseball Player of the Year award to Decatur High School’s Cole Barthel. Cole has twice received All-State honors in both football and baseball. This season, he batted .400 with seven doubles and a home run.

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Coach Mike Bums believes Cole’s drive to succeed has brought him to this level of success, "Cole is the most talented and hardest working player I have ever been around. He’s an outstanding person". Equally talented off the field, Cole maintains a 3.3 GPA and will attend the University of Arkansas next year.

The 48 winners from across the nation, selected by a panel of sport-specific experts as well as a National Media Advisory Board, were chosen based on their outstanding accomplishments on and off the field of play. In addition to athletic performance, the award’s-criteria include the athlete’s achievements in the classroom and contributions to the community.

This year’s class of inductees joins previous winners in the Gatorade Circle of Champions, including major leaguers Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey, Jr.

The Gatorade High School Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and then awards one National Player of the Year in football, volleyball, baseball, softball and boys and girls basketball, soccer, and track & field. For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year pro-rain, including nomination information and a list of past winners, visit the Gatorade Hall of Heroes at